Home Case Studies altissia Opening minds and building bridges between cultures
Altissia uses IBM Instana Observability to support international language learning
Experience IBM Instana Observability
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Altissia is a language learning software company headquartered in Belgium that believes languages open minds and build bridges between people and cultures. Its team is on a singular mission: to bring everyone the opportunity to learn a new language.

From educational institutions to businesses and government organizations, these customers use Altissia to offer language learning programs to students, allowing them to take lessons and assessments on their own time.

Huge projects


One of Altissia’s largest projects supports a linguistics program for 350,000 students in Europe

Critical SLA support


Altissia uses Instana Observability to support a critical SLA: 99.8% application uptime

We love how easy it is to deploy and maintain the agent. There’s no operational overhead. Grégory Schiano Chief Technical Officer Altissia
Seeking greater insight to drive DevOps

Grégory Schiano, Chief Technical Officer at Altissia, knew that if he wanted his DevOps team to build and scale quickly, they would need to break up into smaller project teams, with each team having smaller focuses that all laddered up to the department’s greater goals. The DevOps department at Altissia was an early adopter of cloud-native development, and has been working in Kubernetes for several years. For a small team, this meant a lot of time was spent making sure all of the developers were well-trained in Kubernetes so they would be able to work effectively with it.

One of Altissia’s largest projects to date has been building an online language learning platform for a large learning program. The linguistics program supports over 350,000 students learning the official languages of the EU—from Bulgarian to Swedish and everything in between. The success of the international program, and of each student, relies heavily on Altissa’s ability to keep its applications up and running.

With so many moving components, it became apparent that the team needed an observability platform. The team wanted to be quickly alerted when anything went wrong, have a tool to help pinpoint errors, and have visibility into some of the use cases and habits of end-users—insights that could guide the team for future updates to the application.

Schiano’s team evaluated two tools, IBM Instana Observability and a competing product. The team ultimately chose Instana for a few reasons. The first was the ease that comes with built-in automation. “We love how easy it is to deploy and maintain the agent,” says Schiano. “There’s no operational overhead.”

The second reason was Instana’s core capabilities, especially its personalized visualization and collaboration features. Using the Application Perspectives feature, each team member can adapt their dashboard to their own monitoring needs. “We really love Application Perspectives. It’s the feature we use most,” says Schiano.

And the third reason, and why Schiano continues to renew, was his appreciation for the Instana team. “A part of my criteria for choosing a company to work with is their people, and I love the people working at Instana. We’re in close contact frequently. They know how to do their job. You can tell they enjoy working for the company, and for me, that’s amazing.”

A part of my criteria for choosing a company to work with is their people, and I love the people working at Instana. Grégory Schiano Chief Technical Officer Altissia
Maximizing uptime

Having Observability into every moving part of its website allowed Altissia to follow and report upon its SLAs, including keeping a running uptime of 99.8%.

Maintaining this level of uptime became critical once the team started monitoring student usage of the language tool. Because many users were waiting until the deadline to submit assessments, server traffic was surging at specific times. If a server happened to fail at a deadline, it could interfere with submissions and mean the difference between passing or failing grades. This insight only became available to the team due to Instana’s Application Perspectives feature.

And the capabilities continue to evolve, according to Schiano. “Altissia works with Instana and continues to renew because the tool evolves with our needs. Sometimes even in advance. There may be a new feature, and at the time we don’t need it, but a few months later we realize we do and it’s already there.”

Altissia and Instana logo
About Altissia

Present on every continent, Altissia (link resides outside of ibm.com) runs a language-learning platform that enables organizations—including schools, businesses and government agencies—to bring multilingualism to students, employees and citizens. Altissia was founded in 2005 by academics from the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL). Its headquarters are on the university campus in Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium.

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